The Trump administration is known for its hostility toward marijuana. It’s also known for its hostility toward the LGBT community. In a huge blow to the Trump administration, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Monday that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation.
Many states, including Oregon, Washington, and California have statutes explicitly prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation. The Federal Civil Rights Act (“the Act”) does not explicitly protect employees based on sexual orientation. Instead, it only protects employees based on sex. Circuit courts across the country are taking up the issue of whether employees should be protected based on sexual orientation, and reaching different conclusions.
In 2010, Donald Zarda sued his employer, Altitude Express, Inc. alleging they had terminated him because he was gay. The federal district court ruled in favor of the employer, holding the Act did not protect employees